Scales need to balance

With the Facebook squawk and Twitter squalor that has ignited over former premier Gordon Campbell’s nod to receive the prestigious Order of British Columbia, it might be time to change the voting procedure for such honours.

With the Facebook squawk and Twitter squalor that has ignited over former premier Gordon Campbell’s nod to receive the prestigious Order of British Columbia, it might be time to change the voting procedure for such honours. After all, the OBC is awarded on behalf of the people of this province, so why don’t we get a say in who receives it?

Naturally, with voter turnout for such important decisions as the HST reversal, provincial and national elections hovering at or below the 50 per cent mark, only a few of us would ultimately be making that decision, but at least the recipients would have to prove their worth.

In Campbell’s case, some would argue, as the OBC judges — an advisory council of seven, including the chief justice of B.C., the legislature’s speaker and two past recipients — have done, that his public service is worthy of such an award. And that may be true, except every good deed has to be set on a scale and balanced — and bad deeds tend to weigh more heavily in the public’s eye than a private panel’s.

It also doesn’t help that people of privilege — political or otherwise — always tend to get a better break than regular joes. One of the best examples of this two-faced political pandering that a public vote would not put up with is the Order of Canada.

In 2009, Canada’s highest civilian honour was revoked from one-legged athlete Steve Fonyo because of multiple criminal convictions. Fonyo received the award for raising more than $13 million for cancer research. However, former newspaper mogul Conrad Black, who was originally convicted in the U.S. in 2007 of fraud and who renounced his Canadian citizenship in a huff a decade ago, continues to wear his award around his beefy neck.

If the public had to choose between Fonyo and Black, Conrad would be the first to have his medal stripped and forced to offer a public apology. This blatant favouritism reeks of an old-boys’ network whose time must come to an end. Social networking is just the beginning of this public revolution.


October Song: Bonnie Ste-Croix

For easy-listening, Canadian pride, you can’t go wrong with Bonnie Ste-Croix’s Canadian Girl. Having spent considerable time on both coasts, Ste-Croix gathers some of Canada’s best musicians and singers to contribute to a wonderful folk album that uniquely celebrates each province. “October Song” is B.C.’s entry and features such provincial talents as Shari Ulrich and her daughter, Julia Graff, plus Bill Buckingham, Robbie Steininger and Graeme Coleman. Vancouver’s Stephen Fearing also pops by. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Three Nanaimo-area writers up for CBC non-fiction prize

Sheila Brooke, Vicki McLeod and Rachael Preston make 35-person longlist

Most Read